Sport and the Reporter

Stephen Tate, Blackburn College University Centre stephen.tate@blackburn.ac.uk It’s an irony not lost on me that my book examining the history of the sports journalist was published in the same month that sport went into global lockdown. Athletes were sent home, fixtures suspended and stadiums emptied. Press boxes were under lock and key. To keep the … Continued

On the historical value of ‘bumfodder’ – Loyalty, Memory and Public Opinion in England, 1658-1727

Ted Vallance, University of Roehampton Edward.Vallance@roehampton.ac.uk In a rather pungent outburst, the earl of Lauderdale once told Charles II that loyal addresses were ‘fit for nothing but to wipe his Royal A…’ Until recently, historical opinion on the value of these texts has been no less severe: J. T. Rutt, the editor of Thomas Burton’s … Continued

On Epidemics and Loneliness

Professor David Vincent, Open University David.Vincent@open.ac.uk Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus there was widespread discussion by campaigners and social commentators of an ‘epidemic’ of loneliness.  On the basis of an extensive literature review, Keith Snell concluded that ‘Loneliness is now widely diagnosed as a modern “epidemic” or “plague”.’ Even before the current crisis, this … Continued

Whispers Across Continents: In Search of the Robinsons

Dr Gareth Winrow, University of Oxford gareth@garethwinrow.org I knew that my Turkish friend, Ahmet Ceylan, came from an interesting family. His great uncle, known in Turkey as Ahmet Robenson, had introduced basketball and Scouting to the Ottoman Empire and was one of the first goalkeepers to play for the Galatasaray football team. What I did … Continued

A Cultural History of Disability in the Renaissance

Dr Susan Anderson, Sheffield Hallam University @DrSusanAnderson In around 1490, Leonardo da Vinci sketched a figure in one of his notebooks that has become known as the Vitruvian Man. As Leonardo’s notes record in his characteristic mirror-writing, the sketch is drawn according to the ideal proportions of the human body, as described by the Roman … Continued

Singing the News: Ballads in Mid-Tudor England

Dr Jenni Hyde, Lancaster University j.hyde2@lancaster.ac.uk I came to history through music.  As a child, I loved folk songs, both traditional and contemporary, about the past.  I still do.  So you can imagine my delight when I found a set of ballads, or popular songs, on the downfall of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s right-hand man … Continued

Japan’s Castles

Dr Oleg Benesch, University of York oleg.benesch@york.ac.uk In spring 2014, the Social History Society Conference at Northumbria University provided a welcome opportunity to visit Newcastle for the first time in some years, and I extended my stay to explore the city, including the various museums, galleries, and the waterfront. I was most interested, however, in … Continued

Venice’s Secret Service: Organizing Intelligence in the Renaissance

Dr Ionanna Iordanou, Oxford Brookes University @IoannaIordanou   According to conventional wisdom, systematised intelligence and espionage are ‘modern’ phenomena, spanning  from the eve of the First World War to the present. Venice’s Secret Service overturns this academic orthodoxy, recounting the arresting story of one of the world’s earliest centrally organised state intelligence organisations. Headquartered in … Continued